I’ve long been a fan of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for it’s incredible Allegria Spa, spacious rooms with dark wood and sophisticated accents, and its enviable location at the base of the Colorado’s Beaver Creek mountain — easy access to skiing in the wintertime and hiking in the summer. I think I’ve overnighted at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek four times now (yes, I love the resort hotel that much), but last weekend was the first time I brought along the kids. They, too, give it double thumbs’ up. Here’s why the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is so family friendly:
1. Welcoming atmosphere for families in the huge lobby and lounge area. As soon as I walked into the Park Hyatt to check in, I noticed just how many kids were clomping around in ski boots, sprawled on overstuffed couches and snacking on apres-ski treats in Antler Hall. It was about 4:30 p.m., and an acoustic guitar player was entertaining the crowd, engaging with guests: “First person to come up here with red hair wins a prize!” The roaring fireplace, giant antler chandelier, huge floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the mountains outside and friendly bartenders just set a welcoming scene — not only for adults, but kids, too.
2. Five hot tubs and heated outdoor pool. My family and I weren’t skiing last weekend, so we spent late morning Saturday just hanging out in the outdoor hot tubs and heated pool. We nearly had the place to ourselves at 11 a.m., since everyone else was on the slopes! The kids had a ball, creating some game that involved snow on the bellies. Then there was a “throw the snowballs at Mom and Dad in the hot tub” activity. I swam laps in the large rectangular pool (with a rope set up to designate a lap lane). What a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours with the family!
3. Camp Hyatt. We didn’t take advantage of this babysitting service, but I can appreciate that the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has a big, colorful on-site room for child care. It’s staffed with counselors (5 kids to 1 counselor ratio), with arts and crafts, board games, toys, video games and other activities. Outdoor fun might include making snow angels and scavenger hunts around the property. Yes, it costs: $60 for a half-day session; $90 all day. But if you do want to spend some time on your own, sans kids, and they’re not into ski school (more expensive than Camp Hyatt), this might be a place where they can meet other children and be cared for in a safe, secure environment.
4. 8100 Mountainside Grill. This is a hotel restaurant that both kids and parents will love. The seasonal dinner menu is exquisite — just try to pick only one side dish from the array of goodness: Organic Bleu Cheese Grits, Bacon Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Leek Mascarpone Risotto to name a few. Entrees from awesome wood fire grill include Espress0 Chili Crusted Filet of Beef, Berkshire Pork Chop and Organic Shetland Salmon — hearty food with a slight Southern twist from Chef Christian Apetz, who’s been at the helm of the kitchen for the last seven months. Kids can choose from standard hamburger, hot dog and pasta, or perhaps a nice flat iron steak or skinless chicken breast. Breakfast brings a generous a la carte menu, as well as a hot buffet and continental cold breakfast. I enjoyed my custom omelet; my daughter was a fan of the oatmeal with brown sugar and pancakes with chocolate chips (surprise, surprise).
5. S’mores at 4! Every day at 4 p.m. during ski season, the Park Hyatt lays out a spread of graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate and homemade marshmallows for guests to roast around a fire pit, then make their own s’mores. While we were there, the kitchen made orange, mint, vanilla-bean and coffee-flavored marshmallows — and yes, I believe my children sampled each one! (Store-bought “regular” marshmallows are on hand, too.) The fire pit was packed at 4 p.m. when staff brought out the extra-long skewers for roasting — good thing, though, since the fire pit was roaring hot!
Other nice family-friendly services and amenities include pint-sized bathrobes for kids (just call down to guest services for as many as you need) and an on-site video-game room (it’s a bit tucked away; my kids never found it and I never pointed it out). I appreciated the delivered morning newspaper, in-room Keurig coffee and complimentary overnight shoe shine — my black leather cowboy boots look like new! Note that there is a $20 per room, per night resort fee charged to cover some of these amenities and services, as well as in-room wireless internet, bottled water and use of the fitness center and ski valet. We found the service to be quite good while we were there; even during a busy winter weekend, the valet staff, bellmen and front-desk receptionists were efficient and friendly.
Again, you can’t beat the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s location — literally steps away from the Buckaroo Express (which whisks skiers to The Ranch’s friendly beginner terrain), the tiny slope at the base for ski school’s littlest rippers, the ski school registration building, plus all of the shops and restaurants (and awesome ice rink!) in Beaver Creek Village. It’s truly in the heart of all the action at Beaver Creek.
Thanks to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for hosting me and my family.